"Tell me what it is you plan to do with your wild and precious life?"
“…the great aim of education is not knowledge but action.”
It's 1:07am, and I can't fall back asleep. I'm wide awake. It's not insomnia. No, it's something different. Inspiration, maybe. A gnawing awareness. An energy I recognize from the days I wrote music like my life depended on it.
I have a hunch you feel the same, too. If you're reading this, if you've kept up with the blog for a while, we probably share a similar need to know and be known deeply. To create. To grow.
I've seen this energy take me to wonderful places, and I've experienced the dark places it can lead, as well. It's a double-edged sword: one side sharp with wonder and the other with doubt and loneliness. You see, the danger is to get hung up in the ideas, to become frozen, and never move into action.
There's a phrase my friend and mentor uses often:
"Here's what, so what, now what?"
The here's-what is the idea or principle. The so-what is where the principle intersects our life (context). The now-what is our reaction or application.
How often do we get hung up in the here's-what? How much time do we spend trying to understand with certainty before we actually take action? How often do we miss the invitation to live, because we think we need to map out all of the mechanics first?
Bob Goff wrote in his book Love Does,
"There is only one invitation it would kill me to refuse, yet I'm tempted to turn it down all the time. I get the invitation every morning when I wake up to actually live a life of complete engagement, a life of whimsy, a life where love does. It doesn't come in an envelope. It's ushered in by a sunrise, the sound of a bird, or the smell of coffee drifting lazily from the kitchen. It's the invitation to actually live, to fully participate in this amazing life for one more day."
We can spend our lives learning and growing, arguing and splitting hairs over systems of belief and semantics, but what difference does it make if the rubber never meets the road?
When I get hung up on the "here's what," I become discouraged quickly. When I take what I've learned and try to pull from it a meaningful way to impact others in my day-to-day, I feel inspired and full of energy.
What can I do today, right this minute, at this very second, to move the ball forward? To affect progress. Not to abandon the wonderful pursuit of knowledge and wisdom, but to avoid a cerebral marathon.
I'm awake right now, because there is a "now what" I feel forming in the depths of my heart and mind. A dream. A vision. A picture that's been forming since day one.
And for you, my friend, you are immensely gifted and blessed. You have been given much. Much is required.
So now what?
What will you do with your one "wild and precious" life?